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Monday, October 27, 2014

Denis Diderot

"Only passion, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things."

— Denis Diderot
French Art Critic, Writer
1713 - 1784

Are you passionate about your creative work?  Passion is key to achieving great work.  Without passion you will likely lose your way and become lost in the desert of disillusionment.  Without passion your work will be mediocre.  

Writing a novel takes years for most people.  You have to be passionate about your characters, about the people who inhabit your novel or your novel will fail.  If you don't like your characters, neither will others.  

Writing poetry has almost no financial award and very little recognition.  Are you passionate enough about writing poetry that you can do it for years in seclusion?  Are passionate enough to continue writing even when no one reads it or appreciates your skill? Passion drives the poetic soul.  

Painting by yourself in a studio day after day can be boring.  You long to meet people and talk.  You long for noise and interaction.  Do you have the passion to keep painting even when you are drawn to put the brush down.

Creative Practice
Make a list of 10 creative activities in which you are engaged.  Using a scale of 1 to 100, rate how passionate you are about each activity.  One means no passion.  100 means totally passionate.  Focus your creative efforts on the activities that you are most passionate about.  Stop engaging in creative activities that you are not passionate about.

Denis Diderot was the son of Didier Diderot and Angelique Vigneron.  His father was a craftsman and manufacturer of medical and surgical instruments.  Diderot earned a degree in philosophy, but abandoned the study of law.  He was disowned by his father because he chose to become a writer instead of entering a profession like the law or the clergy.  He was further cutoff from his father because of his marriage to a woman beneath his class.

Diderot's best known work was the Encyclopedie.  He was the co-founder, chief editor and contributor to the controversial work.  He also wrote essays, plays and novels.